Doc On The Box – Scream Queens Season One

Scream Queens 2Kappa Kappa Tau is the sorority from hell at Wallace University, dominated by Chanelle Oberlin and her coven of acolytes, all re-named Chanelle Number X in honour of their leader. The sorority has a secret however – twenty years ago, a sister died in childbirth during a party. The death was covered up and the child disappeared… until now.

As a new term starts, Dean Munsch is determined to sort out Kappa Kappa Tau, and Chanelle in particular, once and for all. But so does somebody else (or is it somebody else?) Someone wearing the college mascot Red Devil costume is killing off… well, basically anyone they feel like who has a vague connection with the sorority and they’re not being subtle about. But who is the killer? How high is the death toll going to get? And is it all going to make sense at the end of the day?

Right, so I reviewed episode one and, partly for that reason, stuck it out until the season finale, so I feel I ought to talk about Season One of Scream Queens. But to a certain extent… I’m really not sure what to say about it.

First off, I think any enjoyment of the series is going to depend on your sense of humour. But the humour in the series has many different tones. Look at the humour related to the murders. Some of it is jet-black and some of it is slapstick. For example, in the first episode, a deaf student, who has been buried up to her neck on a croquet lawn as part of a hazing ritual, is murdered by the Red Devil riding a lawnmower while she obliviously sings Taylor Swift songs at the top of her voice. On the other hand, one frat boy has his arms chainsawed off one at a time but carries on taking part in the action until he is required to climb a ladder…

I’ll freely admit that I’m probably a tad too old for the show – my students at school were gobsmacked to discover that I was watching it – but some of the characters were extraordinarily irritating. Others, though, notably Glen Powell as Chad Radwell and, of course, Jamie Lee Curtis as Dean Munsch, were much more palatable.

The plot? Well, it does sort of make sense, but it takes a long time for the story to take a cohesive form – and once that focus kicks in, the identity of the Red Devil in rather inevitable. And at times – especially in the final episode – the plot depends on almost every character being utterly stupid. I know that ties into the fact that this is a comedy first and foremost, as opposed to Scream which was more of a thriller, but the uneven tone does make it rather annoying at times.

But, as I said, I did watch the whole series and as the series went on, I got a handle on my expectations of it, and enjoyed it more. I’m not sure how much I can recommend it – it really depends on your sense of humour – and if you don’t find it (or at least parts of it) funny, then it really isn’t worth it for the plot alone. But at the end of the day, possibly against my better judgement, I’ll be keeping an eye out for Season Two…


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